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  • Four hundred million people depend on the Yangtze River, China’s principal waterway, for fresh water. © Brian Ickes/USGS
  • Brian Ickes (second from left) spent 10 days in May providing technical assistance to the GRP’s Yangtze partners who are initiating a new method to quantify fish populations. © Dr. Liu Mingdian/YRFRI
  • There is little scientific information on the basin’s more than 340 fish species, and many populations are starting to decline. © Brian Ickes/USGS
  • The trip builds on previous GRP-sponsored efforts by Ickes and Dr. Yao Yin to help Chinese scientists develop a method for assessing fish communities in the Yangtze River basin. © Xiaoming Sun/TNC
  • While in China, Ickes also participated in a two-year sonic telemetry study designed to learn more about the life histories of four species of Asian carp, whose populations are declining. © Brian Ickes/USGS
  • Silver (shown here), bighead, black and grass carp have been important sources of protein throughout central China. © Dr. Duan Xinbin/YRFRI
  • Small transmitters were surgically implanted into the abdomens of 58 carp, which were then released into the Yangtze. © Brian Ickes/USGS
  • The transmitter broadcasts a signal that is picked up by 36 receivers on navigation buoys (shown here) spaced out along a portion of the river. The receivers record each carp’s location. © Brian Ickes/USGS
  • Chinese scientists hope to learn what is limiting reproduction and survival of Asian carp and to use that information to help stop their decline. © Brian Ickes/USGS
  • The sonic receiver network can be used to study other fish species, and data on similar species can be compared across great river systems including the Mississippi River (shown here). © Erika Nortemann/TNC
Great Rivers
Fish Conservation on China’s Yangtze River

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